From Policy Mic
by Jeff Danovich
Dear Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, and the 45 other United States Senators who thought it was more important to score political points than to do the right thing,
On behalf of veterans throughout the country.
Me and the millions of other veterans who dedicated their lives to keeping our country safe and just simply want to work once they come home from Afghanistan.
In all seriousness, how could members of the Senate throw veterans under the proverbial bus? Easy, one particular member of the Executive Branch supports the Veterans Job Corps, which would provide training for returning veterans to become police officers, firefighters, and National Park Rangers. For the past three and a half years, Republican members of both houses of Congress have made it their number one priority to block any of President Barack Obama’s initiatives. The veterans who have served this country with honor and distinction are just the latest victims of political grandstanding. As Veterans for Common Sense, Patrick Bellon says, “They (the 47 members of the Senate who blocked this bill) put party before country. They clearly do not care as much about the troops as they care about politics.”
As Robert Draper pointed out in his book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” the anti-Obama campaign started on the night of his inauguration.
In 2011, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell enthusiastically said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
This goal was turned into strategy when congressional Republicans opposed anything that had President Obama’s blessings, thus killing any hope of a bi-partisan government. When questioned further about the GOP’s governance strategy, McConnell responded, “Because we thought — correctly, I think — that the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan. When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that differences have been worked out, and there’s a broad agreement that that’s the way forward.”
Their obstructionist ways even interfered with one of the Republican Party’s main tenets: tax cuts. They still oppose the Affordable Health Care Act, although the plan was designed by and implemented by a certain Republican governor. It was these types of maneuvers that led to a downgrade in the United States’ credit rating, which they, in turn, blame the president for.
The Veterans Job Corps proposal was a chance for the Senate to actually work with the president. But blind partisanship got in the way of honoring the same veterans who have fought so bravely for this country. Perhaps when one of these 47 United States Senators explains to an unemployed veteran why demanding that the Pakistani doctor who helped with the capture of Osama Bin Laden be released from prison was a good enough reason to block the bill. Or if that explantion does not work, maybe blocking a deficit neutral bill because it was above the budgetary limits of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs could convince him or her. Time and time again, Republican members of Congress have placed their contempt for the president above doing what is right for the country.